IC can lights and kraft faced insulation

Reply

  #1  
Old 02-23-06, 12:03 PM
mxw128
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
IC can lights and kraft faced insulation

I've installed IC can lights in my basement and am getting ready to drywall. I'm adding insulation to the ceiling to help with noise. I've bought some Owens Corning R-13 acoustical and thermal bats that have kraft paper on one side. Even thought the lights are IC rated, should I remove the kraft paper from the insulation that will go around the lights? (So just the fiberglass will be in contact with the can)

Thanks!
 
  #2  
Old 02-23-06, 08:03 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Yes. Don't let the craft paper touch the cans. If it's not too late, I suggest you return the kraft-faced insulation and buy unfaced bats (or better yet, rolls). This is better for several reasons. And you might want to get R-19 or R-25 anyway.
 
  #3  
Old 02-23-06, 10:01 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 749
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I'm confused. I thought that IC-rated cans could be buried in any combustible material, not just fiberglass.

Is there an entry in the latest NEC that states otherwise?

Any wouldn't you want the kraft paper, or at least some face, on the fiberglass facing the drywall?

I plan to reinsulate my home following a wiring upgrade, so I'm very interested.

Thanks.
 
  #4  
Old 02-24-06, 05:45 AM
mxw128
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Thanks for the reply. I mispoke before, the stuff I got was in rolls. It was actually cheaper than the unfaced rolls that I saw (I think I paid $11 per 31 ft roll) and R-13 should be sufficient for what I'm trying to do, so that's why I went with it. Removing the paper around the can lights is easy enough, I'm removing a foot or so on each side of the light, which should be plenty of room, right?

Thanks again!
 
  #5  
Old 02-24-06, 07:32 AM
W
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,185
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
I was under the impression that Kraft facing was treated with a fire retardant. If it is, it isn't very effective. I just lit a piece with a match. IMO it would make a good torch. I think I'll head up to the attic and make sure none of the paper facing is touching my IC rated cans.
 
  #6  
Old 02-24-06, 07:50 AM
mxw128
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by Wayne Mitchell
I was under the impression that Kraft facing was treated with a fire retardant. If it is, it isn't very effective. I just lit a piece with a match. IMO it would make a good torch. I think I'll head up to the attic and make sure none of the paper facing is touching my IC rated cans.
There is a fire warning on mine that says to keep it away from heat and ignition sources. I think it has an asphalt backing to it, may be part of the reason...
 
  #7  
Old 02-24-06, 08:38 AM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
IC cans have less clearance requirements (from combustable materials) than non-IC cans, but on most IC cans, the clearance requirements are not zero. Read the specs that come with your cans.

Apply common sense too. The cans get hot. You don't want paper touching them. This is surely even more dangerous than having a wood framing member touching them. The paper doesn't have to be very far away. An inch is probably enough.

You don't generally want a vapor barrier between two areas that are both conditioned spaces. In this case, the insulation is being used to control sound, not heat. Vapor barriers are used between two areas that are at different temperatures (to avoid condensation problems as moving air cools).
 
  #8  
Old 02-24-06, 08:42 AM
F
Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 749
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
got it. didn't realize that the basement was heated also (of course it would be...!).

Doesn't the NEC state that there is no clearance requirements for IC-rated illuminaries? I thought I saw that somewhere.

I've got all non-IC, so I know the 3" requirement there, no problem.

Thanks John.
 
  #9  
Old 02-24-06, 12:43 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
I just looked it up. IC rated cans are allowed by the NEC to be in contact with combustable materials. But I wouldn't do it anyway, especially in this case where it is so easily avoided. Thanks for asking. It prompted me to learn something.

And just FYI, the clearance requirements in the NEC from combustable materials for non-IC is only a half inch. The 3-inch requirement is for insulation.

Of course, in all cases I would read and follow the manufacturer's instructions.
 
  #10  
Old 02-24-06, 02:49 PM
F
Member
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 749
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Like you said, it's good practice. And correct on the non-IC as well; insulation and other combustibles are different requirements, but still good practice to keep combustibles away from them.

Thanks John !!
 
  #11  
Old 02-24-06, 04:55 PM
W
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: USA
Posts: 3,185
Received 1 Vote on 1 Post
John - A warning label in my cans (6" Halo) say that any "vapor barrier" touching the can must be rated for 90C. That's pretty hot. I'm trying to find out what the rating is on my Kraft facing. Incidentally, when I went into the attic to see if any paper was touching, I pulled the insulation back from the cans. They had been on for a couple of hours and the sides of the can were barely warm. The top was cool. Of course it's Feb and my attic temp was probably around 40F but I was kind of surprised that they weren't warmer.
 
  #12  
Old 02-25-06, 09:09 PM
mxw128
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Reading the paperwork that came with my IC cans, it says they are "designed to be installed in insulation" and the figure shows the can buried in what looks like blown in insulation. I called Owens corning and they recommended cutting the pulling back the kraft facing around the cans. They siad the fiberglass would be OK. I'm going to call Cooper (the make Halo brand lights) on Monday and see what more they can tell me.

What section of the NEC covers this? Does it define "combustible materials"? "I wonder if fiberglass insulation is considered combustable...) If we're supposed to keep the insulation away from the lights anyway, I wonder why anybody would pay extra for the IC vs the Non-IC lights...

Thanks!
 
  #13  
Old 02-26-06, 09:32 PM
J
Member
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: United States
Posts: 18,497
Received 0 Votes on 0 Posts
Fiberglass insulation is not combustible.

410.65(A) suggests that combustible materials are materials that are only safe up to 90 degrees C (194 degrees F).

410.65(B) suggests that fire resistant materials are materials that are safe up to 150 degrees C (302 degrees F).

410.66(A) discusses the clearance requirements I mentioned earlier.
 
  #14  
Old 02-27-06, 06:00 PM
mxw128
Visiting Guest
Posts: n/a
Originally Posted by John Nelson
Fiberglass insulation is not combustible.

410.65(A) suggests that combustible materials are materials that are only safe up to 90 degrees C (194 degrees F).

410.65(B) suggests that fire resistant materials are materials that are safe up to 150 degrees C (302 degrees F).

410.66(A) discusses the clearance requirements I mentioned earlier.
Great, Thanks for the info!

I called Cooper (makes Halo lights) today just to confirm. Their IC lights can be buried (all sides covered) in any of the common insulatiing material (blown rock wool & fiberglass were the ones I specifically asked about) without an issue.
 
 

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
 
Ask a Question
Question Title:
Description:
Your question will be posted in: